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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 17 January, 2018
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Irish teens warned over dangerous ‘Kylie Jenner lip challenge’ craze

The challenge sees teens placing bottles or jars over their mouth and sucking in the air – causing their lips to swell.

TEENAGERS IN IRELAND are being warned against taking part in a what’s being described as a ‘dangerous’ social media craze.

Over the past week, teenage girls around the world have been participating in something called the ‘Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge’.

The challenge sees teens placing bottles or jars over their mouth and sucking in the air – causing their lips to swell.

The young girls are attempting to emulate the look of reality TV star Kylie Jenner – a half sister of the better-known Kim Kardashian.

kylie Source: kyliejenner

Photos posted on social media over the past week show teenagers displaying bruised, swollen lips after attempting the ‘challenge’.

It’s not something Kylie herself endorses, it should be pointed out.

The celebrity has taken to Twitter to try and dissuade her fans from participating:

A school in Kildare sent out a note to parents on the craze this week – and a teacher at the school, The Holy Family Secondary, told The Kildare Nationalist that one of her students had shown up with “horrible marks” on her face as a result of taking part in it.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Youth Engagement Officer with Spunout.ie John Buckley said Kylie Jenner’s decision to tweet about the craze had been a positive move.

He said many teenagers who participated in the ‘challenge’ had already posted messages saying they regretted it, and detailing the bruising and pain they had inflicted on themselves.

“Body image has been a huge issue for teenagers for the last few decades in particular,” Buckley said.

It’s important to try and be comfortable in the body that you’re in. It may be hard sometimes to accept yourself, but the important thing is to try and become accepting of the body shapes that we have, and to concentrate on feeling healthy and staying fit.

There have been widespread reports, particularly in the US, of young teenage girls taking part in the craze.

Websites and publications aimed at teenagers have run articles advising strongly against taking part. Dendy Engelman, a dermatologic surgeon, told Seventeen there was a potential risk for “scarring and permanent disfigurement” with repeated attempts.

The thigh gap 

Of course, it’s not the first body image social media phenomenon we’ve seen in recent years. In 2013, sites like Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook abounded with photos posted by teenagers of ‘thigh gaps’ as young girls attempted to emulate the slender look of model Cara Delevingne.

“Social media fads that promote changes to physical appearance can potentially have an impact on young peoples’ body image,” psychology lecturer Deirdre Cowman of Engangered Bodies Ireland said in an email to this website.

“Given the media attention focused on the appearance of women in the public eye, like Kylie Jenner, it is not surprising that some teens will go to extreme (and in this case bizarre) lengths to achieve the same look.

“The endless media coverage of individual body parts feeds into a culture which makes it normal for young people to feel self conscious about their looks.

“We need to encourage young people to recognize that many of the images they see on Instagram feeds and magazine spreads are not realistic or achievable.”

Additional reporting, Sinead O’Carroll.

Read: Even if you aren’t actively trying for a baby you might need to take folic acid

Read: HSE condemns ‘unannounced, unofficial’ actions of 10 psychiatric nurses

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